Someone asked me recently how much of myself was in Over the Edge. The truth is, not a lot. Zoe is not based on me, or anyone I know, but I will admit that a couple of her more embarrassing moments might also be mine.
Like the banana incident (hence the photo above). Shall I share it with you?
It was a few years ago now, back before we had kids. My husband and I were travelling from Queensland to Sydney and stopped off in Coffs Harbour. For those who don’t know, Coffs Harbour is a well-known tourist destination on the north coast of New South Wales, home to beautiful beaches, banana plantations, and the iconic Aussie tourist attraction The Big Banana – an enormous piece of fibreglass fruit.
So, we stopped at the Big Banana, like you do when you travel through Coffs. It was a warm day and we took our time as we strolled around the plantation and bought chocolate covered bananas at the kiosk. Yum. I was still eating mine as we headed back to the car, savouring it, licking the melting chocolate from my fingers.
On the way out of town we stopped for petrol. I got out to fill the tank, not realising that the service station provided driveway service. The young guy who came to help gave me a big smile. He made small talk, asked if we were passing through and had we been to see the Big Banana. He nodded when I said yes. His smile grew and he asked me if I’d tried one of the famous chocolate covered bananas.
“Yes,” I smiled back.
“Did you enjoy it?” he asked, grinning now. When I told him it was delicious, he chuckled.
The petrol flowed, the small talk continued and so did the chuckles. Once the tank was filled and paid for I climbed back in the car and commented to my husband on what a friendly, smiley guy the attendant was.
It was at this point that my beloved looked at me properly for the first time since we’d got into the car. I thought he might agree with my assessment of the service station attendant. Maybe he’d smile and suggest a walk on the beach before the long drive home. Or perhaps he’d ask where I’d like to stop for lunch. You can imagine my surprise when his jaw dropped and his eyes bulged and he said…
“Sue? What is on your face?”
My own jaw dropped as I stared in the rearvision mirror. The chocolatey smudge on my chin I could maybe understand. The smear on my cheek – okay I could accept that. But my nose? Under my eye? My earlobe? And…my eyebrow? Seriously. My chocolate covered banana had given me a chocolate coated eyebrow.
Bloody melting chocolate. Bloody iconic banana.
When I looked up at the attendant filling another tank, he was still bloody laughing.
I’ve not been back to visit that oversized piece of fibreglass fruit since.
So, there you go. One of my most embarrassing moments. But also a funny moment, as my husband will tell you. Although I can see the humour now too – it’s only taken ten years or so. And because truth is sometimes stranger, and funnier, than fiction, that embarrassing moment, or a vague version of it, has made its way into my book. And so has the incident with the beanie toys and the pooper scooper, but that’s another story
But on to other things…
This picture below is Whale Beach. It’s a lovely part of Sydney and features quite a bit in Over the Edge. I posted the picture a while ago on my Facebook page, and last weekend a friend said how much she liked it, so I thought I’d share it here, too. Whale Beach is where Zoe thinks she’ll find some serenity, but gets just the opposite
Oh, and before I go…
In case you missed it, Over the Edge has a book trailer now. If you’d like, you can view it here.